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La Blonde D'’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde | Brasserie Thiriez

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89
very good
81 Reviews
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La Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez BlondeLa Blonde D'Â’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez
France
brasseriethiriez.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Local name - La Blonde d'’Esquelbecq
US Import - Thiriez Blonde

Description on US bottle label:
“Daniel Thiriez’s rustic little brick-and-beam brewery graces the village of Esquelbecq, plunk in the middle of the rolling farm country of French Flanders. With a brewing degree from a Belgian university, and decidedly ‘Belgian-oriented,’ Monsieur Thiriez makes ales with an earthy, slightly wild character that recalls the early days of farmhouse brewing, before there was a border between France and Belgium. The delicate spicy champagne aromas of this thirst-quenching blonde beauty are quickly followed by a bracing rush of whole fresh hops.”

Added by tjd25 on 10-09-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
81
Ratings:
138
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
13.47%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 138
Photo of TheDoorman
2.56/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clousy yellow with a massive pourous head. A steady stream of carbonation traverses the center of the glass. Aroma of pear and orange and sour apple. Taste is very cidery. Lots of apple, nothing else comes to the front. Too cidery. Very sweet and tart. Lots of carbonaton. Too much. A dry apple-juice finish. This tastes just far too much like cider. I'm game for some funk and tart in my Saison, but this barely tastes like beer. I couldnt finish my glass. Not good.

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Photo of Patrick999
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dry-hopped French farmhouse ale, per beautiful pastoral-looking bottle.

A - Similar to this brewer's other offerings I've tried, the pour is Duvel-ian in scope. Good thing I'm using my Duvel tulip. Big soapy head, some random gobs of foam sticking to the side of the glass. Golden-brown body - more of a dirty blonde.

S - Smells like a Saaz bomb - flowery and grassy. Also has a sweet orange cotton-candy smell.

T - Hmmm. This is pretty one-dimensional. Plenty of spicy, flowery hop, but this is also really sweet, when I was hoping for something dry. As it stands, this tastes like Saaz candy, a touch of Cointreau and little else. Hops try to dry it out in the finish, but fail utterly. Water used in this tastes like high-quality mineral water, I really get the mineral aspect in the base water. A tasty "beer," though unfortunately, I have to punish this farmhouse ale for its intense sweetness. This is a very wide-open, anything-goes style, sure - but there's one attribute that I really feel has to be met in order to be a good saison/farmhouse ale, and that's dryness. This is not at all dry - in fact, you could name drier Double IPAs, barleywines, triples, Belgian Strong Darks, or Old Ales. It's that sweet.

F - Plenty carbonated, but too pillow-soft for a 6% saison. It feels like a 9% Belgian Strong Pale. What a weird beer.

D - I think my high scores for appearance and aroma are going to keep this from being a complete failure score-wise. This *is* tasty, and is obviously the work of a craftsman, but the sweetness is wearisome. I'm finishing the 750ml bottle, because it wasn't cheap. This would undoubtedly pair very well with many dishes - the Saaz candy aspect would seem to make this a winner any time a sweeter white wine would be called for - but if you're looking to relax with a nice dry, quenching, hoppy saison, I'd avoid this one - save the bucks and pick up a Hennepin.

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Photo of hwwty4
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Found this new saison at the local, due to its decent reviews I figured I would give it a whirl. Poured a capped 750ml into my Triple Karmeliet tulip.

I cracked this open and instantaneously wished i would have opened it over the sink. Saison everywhere. This bad boy is a foamer. Once I got over the shock and got a glass under it, it poured straight foam. Maybe a 1/2 inch of beer with the rest head. For the amount of head that was present almost no lacing The aroma reminds me of caramel green apples. Almost an artificial green apple aroma. Lots of sweet caramel. Just a hint of floral hops. The flavor is much the same. Overwhelming sweet. Lots of caramel, with just a hint of tart green apple. A bit of yeasty biscuits. Very little hop presence. The mouthfeel is really sweet and full. Not dry at all. Overall, I wonder if I got a really old bottle. Most reviews talk about the hop presence but I get nothing like that. Just a wisp.

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Photo of bditty187
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I’m glad I used my Duvel glass, this was one heady beer. The liquid was hazy gold in hue with a bronze highlight, when backlit the liquid looks very lovely! The head, as alluded too, was three plus fingers in height. The foam was white in color; head retention was perfect. The jumble of bubbles hung together nearly forever. It was meringue-like. Impressive! A tight cap lasted the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing was unorganized but very widespread. This is an attractive beer, no doubt about that. Little could improve the appearance.

The nose was lighter and airier then I would prefer. Marshmallows, grain, dry hop aromas, lemon zest, sugar cookies, Pilsner malts, and random (faint) spiciness. The potency is moderate. Honestly, the aromas don’t come together like I would want a “Saison” to do (or any Farmhouse ale). This beer needs more bite and more barnyard. I do like what I smell but I am not “wowed.” Hell, I’m not even satisfied… okay, it is inviting but the bouquet is so understated. No matter, I want to take a sip.

Mission accomplished. The palate, like XXtra has a dried celery and lightly nutty taste that I find distracting. Thin maltiness, cracker-like most of the time, at its best I’d call it cookie-like. Either way, the malt is frail. Light hop bitterness, mostly grassy with some earth and dull spice. At times, in the distance, petite fruit allusions come though. Of the three Thiriez beers all had very similar characteristics. House character? I guess. Honestly, it doesn’t vibe with me. While this beer is not bad I don’t really love it. At best it is okay. The flavor profile is far from bold but it really isn’t that delicate either… but I’m not going to call it bland. What I taste is a hodgepodge of faintly funky, earthy, and bready flavors. I would like more of all three, thanks. This beer leaves me wanting more…

Medium in body, on the thin side of things, the carbonation is moderately low but natural. The mouthfeel is agreeable but I can’t really find much special here. It’s workable.

In away, yes, this beer is drinkable… but not in anyway that impresses me. I can finish the bottle I have but I don’t think there is anyway I would buy this again. It is forgettable. It is boring. I can appreciate a delicate, well-crafted beer but for whatever reason this beer doesn’t jive with me, not every beer can be a hit. I purchased my bottle in Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty beige color ale with an average foamy head with some average retention and no lacing. Aroma of light tart notes with some typical Belgian malt. Taste is a mix between some tart notes and some lightly sweet Belgian malt. Full body with lots of lees and some average carbonation. Not bad but nothing standing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish gold. More amber than I would expect it to be. The head is a luxurious, pillowy, cloud. There's some clove aroma. The flavor is kind of muddled. Sweet and earthy. Rather disappointing.

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Photo of rarbring
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A hazy pale straw colored brew, with a short white head that leaves no lacing and has small curtains.

The smell is funky yeasty, spices and lime almond.

Tasting sweet lemon marmalade, cardamom and clove.

High carbonation, small foamy bubbles, a medium body, a dry finish.

Feels very genuine, like beer made for centuries.

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Photo of Gavage
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearnance: cloudy light orange in color with a very short head that creates a thick surface foam.

Smell: fruit sweetness and a floral bitterenss is mild but detectable.

Taste: caramel, fruit sweetness, pears, green grapes, with some nice bitterness and a touch of earthiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, lighty crisp at the finish. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: this beer was a bit sweeter and fruitier than expected. Not a bad beer but there are better saisons out there.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear blonde color with 1.5" of white head on the top of it. Aroma was if this makes sense, dry perfume. Pale malts and a mild yeast presence qualifying as Belgian.

Taste, enjoyable, thin body, heavy flavor delivery, again dry, slightly mild citrus notes, pithy bitterness. Carbonation was high. I don't know if this had pepper, of it the lemon like citrus qualities and high carbonation tend to make you think there might be based on those two factors together often giving a beer a little more prickliness that isn't too far from being peppery. Grassy as well. Really tame hopping, but par for the course for style. Never picked up on any of the earthy funky descriptors others have used. Thought this was really dry and clean.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a rocky two finger-plus-out-of- control head that eventually settles down, and has excellent retention and some good lacing. Body is an opaque hazy gold. Looks beautiful.

Smell - herbal, grassy, and slightly spicy hops, some horse blanket, hint of toasty, biscuity malt.

Taste - mostly as promised by the nose, but also actually somewhat more sour on the finish. The grassy, herbal hops and horse blanket dominate the barely-there biscuity malt. More horse blanket on the finish ( the sour ) .

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and slightly slick from the hops.

Drinkability - this is decent, but not really great, so I wouldn't have it often, or more than two 12 oz. servings per session before wanting a change of taste. Also, this seems to be more of a Belgian Pale Ale, ala Popperings, than a Saison such as Dupont.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice blonde appearance with over an inch of white head on it. Aroma was a little bit of belgian phenolic spice rack.

Taste was a real dry, lemon, pepper, high carbonation experience. Prickly grassiness. This one was pretty clean as opposed to funky. Decent beer, but kind of a high price all things considered.

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Photo of tjd25
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A silky ocean of foam stays on top of a very active golden orange color body. The smell is firm, fresh and very yeasty, as if we were baking bread in the glass. Quite fruity too, a bit reminiscent of a witbier. The taste is fruity and bready at first, but gets overwhelmed by a sharp and deep hop character that brings a thickness in the mouth and a grapefruit-like astringency. Some Orval notes in this brew. Some peppery notes slightly bite the tongue. The hoppiness is a bit oily too, and I don't know how I feel about that. The mouthfeel is round and enjoyable (the mouth seems to be wrapping the beer up in one grasp), melting in the mouth before the hops appear in a quite unusual way for a belgian pale ale. It gets dry, very dry, and therefore less palatable. Some annoying graininess appear in the aftertaste. An interesting beer, but with a high liters of water you need/glasses of beer you drink ratio.

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Photo of watchnerd
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another near-gusher from Thiriez, hyper carbonated and ejaculating out of the top of the bottle. Not as unique as the Extra, but an enjoyable blonde. Great head, nice lacing, moderate hop presence. An enjoyable brew. Worth the money compared to blondes brewed in North America? Debatable.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml split. Bottle reads 6%. Reviewed from notes.

A - Slow gusher. Pours two two twolips hazy darkish orange with some resting flecks at the bottom. A white head retains as a thick ring+slight cap and leaves bits of lace.

S - Earthy and fruity. Lemon, apple, bread and slight caramelish malts, peach, leafiness, wet hay.

T - More apple and straight-forward yeast profile here kinda gives it a stale feel compared to the nose. Still a good plethora flavors here, lots of pear, green grape, herbal hop, bready farm yeasts, grains, persistent sweet malt.

M - Carbonation is somewhat on the low side, somewhat big-feeling for 6%, light hop bitterness and a crisp finish, yeasty, pretty easy drinking.

O - Good fruit notes from the dry-hop and yeasts meld well with straight-up saison flavors, the smell was pretty promising but the taste seemed a bit meh in comparison. Was expecting more from the hops, though it's a good beer, it's lacking compared to lots of other saisons.

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Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big overpouring flow of white foam. Very foamy head, on lighter coloured body. A bit of spice and yeast aroma. Drinkable French saison taste, pleasant and moderate complexity noted in multi-coursed lunch. More spicy and not too sweet. Well hopped and appropriate carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very little beer. Very much head. Yet another charged up Thiriez. (That makes 3 now.) The white foam takes up 2/3 of the glass. I must wait patiently for my sip of nectar. The beer underneath the thick crop is pale yellow and slightly hazed.

Aroma: Lemon zest, farmyard funk, anise, white pepper.

Taste: Farmyard earthiness. Herbal qualities. Cracked black pepper. Lemon pepper. And licorice. Musty as well.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and airy. A little gaseous. Light bodied.

Drinkability: Better mouthfeel would lead to better drinkability. The taste is good enough. But it's first of all, hard to get at the nectar. Second of all, airy and gaseous when I do get it.

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Photo of cpanossian
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found a 750 ml green glass bottle at RSVP in Portland Maine.

Didn't notice until I uncapped the bottle that inside the neck under the cap was dried crud (spent yeast and wort?) - possible that the cap was not a perfect seal?

I poured a tulip glass and let it breathe for a few minutes. Aroma was inviting, slightly fruity with hint of citrus. Tast was delicious, mildly crisp, lightly sweet, just a hint of tartness. Pale orange color glowed wonderfully in tulip glass. Terrificly refreshing on a summer day.

Have not seen or experienced too many French craft beers yet, but am mildly interested in exploring the genre.

The Thiriez website is compellling too - wouldn't hurt my feelings to visit their brewery in Esquelbecq - looks like beautiful country.

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Photo of JBogan
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy gold with a gigantic white head which is fed by a steady stream of vigorous bubbles. An attractive brew.

An aroma of yeast with a floral edge, rounded out with a bit of mustiness.

The yeast plays a part in the taste as well, accompanied by a slight citric quality. Also some honey sweetness to be found in there too. Not particularly memorable, but nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, with a great carbonation bite to it.

This is a nice farmhouse style ale, but probably not one I'll go out of my way to have again. It just lacked something in the taste department to make it memorable. Still, if you like this style then it's worth a try.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another saison in my summer saison series, although it doesn't say saison "farmhouse" counts. Pours real nice with a little gush, golden straw color with a puffy tight white head. No real lacing to speak of. Smells of a little yeast, lots of lemon, and a good bit o green bottle. I usually hate green bottle but somehow I'm diggin this one. Taste is dominated by flavors of grain, lemon, and very grassy hops. Unlike alot of the saturday saisons this one is not all about the yeast. There is a good bit o green bottle flavor happening here, I'm questioning if this is light struck. Lovely bottle conditioned mouthfeel, slightly bubbly. Other then the greeness, its ok to drink. Honestly I'd give this one more shot to see if the bottle was light struck, but if it was the same I wouldn't go here again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a hazy orange body with a very strong carbonation of tiny bubbles racing to the surface. There is a nice off-white head of cream that turns rocky and pushes above the glass. This is a slow motion gusher that continues to grow out of the bottle after the first pour forming a lava flow of foam down the side of the bottle.

S- The yeasty perfume aroma is full with some soft apple juice aroma that takes on a honey comb quality as the beer opens. It finishes a sweet fruit and soft green hop note blend together with a fresh rain quality.

T- The dry sugary flavor has a green cola note and a dry yeast note that finish with a slight hop hint and some apple sweetness.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a smooth well balanced blend of flavors but the apple fruity quality is a bit odd and out of place with the other flavors. The hops and yeast character were a bit soft and get over-powered by the apple notes, but it did pair nicely with some bacon wrapped chicken.

 1,106 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A hazey blonde/ambrosia champagne is released from a 750ml bottle that just can't contain the carbonation any longer once the cap is pulled. Humongous head that easily overflowes the glass after a modest pour. The aroma is a little subtle, not as earthy as other saisons. But definelty effervescant with some spicey malts and light citrus hops. The tastes is dry, but not tart. Just champagne with some subtle Euro spices in the crystal like malts. The palate is very carboanted, but lacks that real earthy, yet subtle tartness is lacking in this saison.

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Photo of ccrida
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml with probably about 6 months in my cellar, and the dust on the collar indicates it's surely older....served barely above cellar temp, it's a bit of a gusher, lots of foam filling my large Gulden Draak tulip and slowly seeping over the top of the bottle, although I was able to capture enough after a quick slup of head to let the bottle rest. Hazy bright gold with small dark flecks of sediment roused by the foaming, tons of active streamers and a massive, pillowy white head that is super rocky and slow to subside, with huge chunks of foamy lace. Subsequent pours were increasingly yeasty, a very fine sediment which brought a increasingly auburn glow.

Smell is strong and appealing, from the first gush of foam as I struggled with the bottle cap, I was hit with the fragrance and got very excited...not quite wood, but eager anticipation! Sweet, sugary and floral, lots of orange citrus with a hint of spicy noble hops.

Taste is equally sweet and sugary, candied tropical fruits fading into a pleasantly spicy, woodsy, bitter hop finish that provides nice balance and eases the palate from the wonderfully assertive sweetnes, with a lingering, peppery aftertaste. The sweetness is very reminiscent of Jenlain's Bière De Printemps, but the hops provide added depth and contrast. In fact, considering the orange esters, I'd reason Monsieur Thiriez used their yeast. Frankly, it's not favorite farmhouse yeast, I find the orange character to dominant, which after awhile I begin to tire of. Still, a nice little saison.

Mouthfeel is light and dry, with a snappy carbonation that keeps it refreshing.

Drinkability is pretty good, not my favorite brasserie, but I like this one better then their Extra, which I found overly peppery, astringent with the hops...the sweetness balances that here, but they're still both on extreme ends of the spectrum that I don't love.

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Photo of impending
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

B+

750ml into a tulip. Pours a lightly hazed pale yellow, dense clumping egg shell white froth, nice lacing remains behind.

Sweet yeasty rich aroma, apple, pear and an underlying mustiness.

Flavor is slightly fruity and grainy, minor citrus rind. Touch of white pepper joins the bitter comprised of rind and wet grass but altogether minor. No sharp edges. Less than medium bodied mouthfeel.
cheers
jd

 403 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

man, i really like what these guys are up to. the extra, although it was so green bottle weird, was also good enough to make me go back and buy this one today, and while it has a similar issue with the green glass light struck thing, it is also really delicious and raw. the yeast in this one is fantastic, funky and thick, the dominant flavor agent, and although it says on the label its dry hopped, i didnt think it was half as hoppy as the extra. the subtle nature of the hops in this is one of its best assets, but i love all the new to me yeast swirling around in the beer, and the horsey nature of it all. americans dont do saisons all that well without brett i feel like, but the french and the belgians have it dialed in. fuller bodied than the extra and some of the other french ones i have had recently, but its flattering to the flavors, especially the spicy yeast. carbonation is there, but it doesnt warm up all that well. beer makes me so happy, so so happy, and something as unique and fun as this is a real treat. i just wish they would abandon the green bottles, its a bummer the beer doesnt come in as full swing as it could, but its still worth buying. stoked to have these guys in colorado.

 1,210 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 2006.
Appearance : golden color, with white foam head
Smell : lemon and herbal aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : bitter spicy taste, aromatic, yeast, Hops continue to tickle the palate lafter the finish
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian pale ale

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La Blonde D'’Esquelbecq / Thiriez Blonde from Brasserie Thiriez
4.01 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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